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White Paper
Published: June 2005

NOTE: This White Paper is the result of collaboration between Microsoft Business Solutions and Shinn Consulting, a homebuilding industry expert with more than 35 years experience. Shinn Consulting has developed superior performance systems and procedures which are in use today by many of the mostsuccessful homebuilders.

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The information contained in this document represents the current view of Microsoft Corporation and Shinn Consulting on the issues discussed as of the date of publication. Because Microsoft must respond to changing market conditions, it should not be interpreted to be acommitment on the part of Microsoft, and Microsoft cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information presented after the date of publication. This White Paper is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS, IMPLIED OR STATUTORY, AS TO THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT. Complying with all applicable copyright laws is the responsibility of the user. Without limiting the rightsunder copyright, no part of this document may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), or for any purpose, without the express written permission of Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft may have patents, patent applications, trademarks, copyrights, or other intellectualproperty rights covering subject matter in this document. Except as expressly provided in any written license agreement from Microsoft, the furnishing of this document does not give you any license to these patents, trademarks, copyrights, or other intellectual property. © 2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the UnitedStates and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

© 2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.


Homebuilding is a great business where the entrepreneurial spirit is flourishing. In 2004, residential construction represented 5.7% of the Gross Domestic Product, or almost $12 billion;and builders are experiencing the 13th consecutive year of growth in an industry where the business cycle typically turns down every five to seven years. Yet, market conditions can be full of surprises. How you respond to these surprises can mean the difference between success and failure for your company. Shortages of available land, increasing demand for information, rapid changes in technology,rising costs (for land, material and labor), and increasing cycle times. The alert builder will identify and take advantage of challenges, and convert them into opportunities to achieve superior results; they will become more efficient and have the improved profit margins to show for their effort. In the following pages, we will take an in-depth look at each of these challenges; and responses tothem which will help the builder not only cope, but grow through the process to become a stronger company - financially sound, more efficient and more effective. How do you determine what systems or procedures you need; how do you tweak your methods of operation to bring out the best in your company and its employees, the trades and your buyers? Making changes can be challenging and time consuming- but can yield huge rewards. Come with us as we take a look through these, and many other questions and their solutions.

Builders are feeling the pressure from a wide variety of sources. Does this sound familiar?
LAND Homebuilders have enjoyed 13 years of growth in the homebuilding industry. The on-going demand for land has challenged homebuilders in their search for affordable and...
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